Date

December 3, 2017

Area

Tomsk

Companion

Elder Bringhurst

Another grand week in Tomsk!

On Sun, Dec 3, 2017 at 8:44 PM, Lawrence Gavin wrote: Hey all! This week has been another one for the books! Nothing super special really happened, I just love being out here :)
We've been doing a lot of less-active work this week, stopping by to people on our branch list that we haven't had contact with. We had an awesome experience; while out on the outskirts of town stopping by some people, Elder Bringhurst suggested that we go and stop by a part-active family in the area. We rang the doorbell and one of the youth from the branch who hadn't been to church in a couple weeks answered. We came in and got to have a great talk with him (Kirill) and his brother (Fyodor), who is baptized but hasn't been in a long time. This Sunday Kirill came to church! It was awesome to see how much just a quick contact with a member can help.
We had a great lesson this week with Valeri, the long-time investigator/building caretaker here. We talked about faith, and tried to help him realize that he has more faith than he thinks. He started the lesson by saying that he doesn't think he has any faith, but by the end he agreed that he was already starting to grow at least a little bit of faith in God. Then we whipped out Alma 32 on him and it went awesome :) I'm really hopeful for him, I think he's getting close!!!
Great news!!! Fyodor and Tamara from Ulan-Ude were baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday!! Definitely a little bummed that I couldn't be there, but that's not what's important. I'm so glad for them!!!
This week I've been thinking a lot about how great of an opportunity the mission is to improve yourself. I spent the first 18 years of my life for the most part just thinking about myself (just like in general), but I feel sometimes like I've made as much progress in bettering myself in this year and a half on my mission than those whole 18 years! We hear a lot about how important it is to turn outside ourselves, but it's really such a great thing to do. We serve more, love more, are happier, and progress more when we focus on helping others and not just ourselves.
That's not to say that I think I'm anywhere near perfect, though :) That's another thing I've learned basically every day of my mission; I have a TON to work on! I heard someone say that people get called to Russia to be humbled, and that's about 150% right.
Thanks for everything!! Love you all!!!
Photos:
-After-church photoshoot for family Christmas card -No big deal but we made the greatest cinnamon rolls ever concocted on earth-Russians take their McDonald's seriously - two stories and probably one of the nicest buildings in the city-Way pretty trees. They were prettier in person.




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